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Inequities in the physical activity of disabled young people in Aotearoa New Zealand: A stakeholder SWOT analysis of the physical activity sector

Aims: Disabled people, particularly children and adolescents, tend to participate in less physical activity than their non-disabled peers on average. However, disabled children and youth (i.e., young people [YP]) are typically underrepresented in physical activity (PA) research, with little data available in Aotearoa New Zealand to guide policy makers to alter societal factors that contribute to disability inequities. The purpose of this study was to conduct a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the PA sector in Aotearoa New Zealand with respect to PA participation and promotion among disabled YP. Methods: Focus group discussions, underpinned by the SWOT framework, were facilitated with stakeholders (n=11) engaged in the Aotearoa New Zealand PA sector. Data were transcribed and analysed using content analysis. Desirable and accessible opportunities were essential enablers of PA in disabled YP. Results: Communication, transport, equipment costs, awareness of activities, and social support were identified as factors that influence PA participation. Schools also have a considerable influence on PA participation among disabled YP, while greater funding for and cohesion/collaboration among PA providers is key to continued growth in PA participation. Conclusions: Communication, accessibility, funding, and collaborative/coordinated multi-level efforts were identified as areas in need of strengthening to provide equitable opportunities for disabled YP in Aotearoa New Zealand to participate in PA.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
New Zealand Medical Association
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